To support the wearing of blue for Autism Awareness Day, this blog is being written in blue. Autism affects too many children in this country. And in my opinion, one is too many.
I had lunch today at the China Garden with one of my closest friends, Linda. As always when we get together, it was a time of chatting, laughing and exchanging updates on our respective grandchildren. Over a pot of tea, we shared philosophies on the ills of the world.
From there we went to get our nails done--a rare luxury for me. When I called home to tell Calvin where we were and that I was getting both a manicure and pedicure, he asked, "Do they have a pretty shade of red?" Since I was already holding a bottle of nail polish in Vixen, his favorite color, I merely laughed.
Now had I known I was going to get a pedicure and that the male nail technician would push my pants up to my knees to rub lotion into my legs, I'd have shaved the "forest" before I left the house. But, WHO knew? I grimaced as he ran both hands up and down my hairy legs, fearing that he'd pull back bleeding, skinless hands. Then he started chatting to the nail technician working next to him. And while I don't profess to speak Vietnamese, I could tell what he was saying. "Awwwl, this woman's legs are like sandpaper!" Both guys (early twenties, I'd say) laughed until their faces turned red.
He lifted my feet to examine the many callouses on my soles. The kid slowly shook his head as if he'd never seen such a mess. So he started. First he used a block-hone-thingy, rubbing it across those callouses, reminding me of "wax on, wax off" from the old movie, The Karate Kid. When that didn't faze years and years of neglected callouses, he soaked my feet some more. Then he lifted them out of the whirlpool foot bath and took a brush to them. Realizing he was getting no where, he turned around for a canvas bag with a horse's head painted on it. He pulled out a thick curry brush he'd no doubt used on old Paint the night before and, with his tongue tucked between his teeth, set out to obliterate those callouses. Folks, sweat ran down the sides of his face as he scrubbed the soles of my feet with that metal tipped brush. It reminded me of the time we had our hardwood floors sanded.
Once more he rattled off a string of Vietnamese--cursing my feet, no doubt. Next he went for his tool box and, after digging through his hand tools, he pulled out an assortment of twelve inch files. Like a man possessed, he ran those files over the soles of my feet--and I was sure I saw sparks fly. Still, my pesky callouses persisted. Lastly, he pulled a hand planer from the tool box and, with a fiendish gleam in his eye, began shaving off my callouses. Before long a pile of skin shavings grew on the floor. I tried making myself invisible, really I did, but since my feet were held captive by a kid determined to reign victorious over those blasted callouses, I was there for the duration.
An hour later, as I painfully hobbled out of the nail salon, Linda chirped, "I love doing this. It's so relaxing!" I'd have kicked her if my feet could have handled the pain. But, folks, my tootsies were all tuckered out.